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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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610 squadron crest
12.08.1940 No. 610 Squadron Spitfire I L1044 DW-H P/O. Edward B.B. Smith DFC

Operation: Patrol

Date: 12th August 1940

Unit: No. 610 Squadron

Type: Spitfire I

Serial: L1044 (1)

Code: DW-H

Base: RAF Gravesend, Kent

Location: English Channel, off New Romney, Kent

Pilot: P/O. Edward Brian Bretherton Smith DFC RAF Age 25. Injured


During a patrol when they came across 12 enemy fighters at 08:00 hrs. Hit by cannon fire around the cockpit and fuel tank the aircraft caught fire and P/O. Smith was forced to bale out.

Suffering minor burns to his face and neck as he fell into the sea, some eight miles from Romney Marsh.

A Royal Navy trawler picked him up - amazingly the captain was an old school friend of his. Two weeks after this he was awarded the DFC for leadership and courage.

After recovering from his injuries he spent some two years as an instructor before leaving for North Africa as Commander of the Advanced Flying Unt at Setif in Algeria.

In 1944 he went on to command a parachute training school, based in Southern Italy. He left the RAF in February 1946.

(1) Some sources quote serial number as K9818 - this aircraft was lost on the 30th September 1940. (See acknowledgement)The pilot, 21 year old F/O. Charles Harvey Bacon 74324 RAFVR from Windermere, Cumbria, England was killed. (Buried in his home town, Windermere Cemetery - St. Marys)

P/O. Edward Smith DFC sitting on the left (courtesy Daily Telegraph)

Burial Details:

None, P/O. Edward Brian Bretherton Smith DFC survived. Born in Formby, Lancashire, January 12th 1915. He completed his RAF service as Wing Commander and died on September 15th 2013. See Obituary page.

Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the following for further information, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 1, Daily Telegraph. Also with many thanks to Raymond Brown from New Zealand who advised us of the correct Serial number of this Spitfire - June 2016.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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